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Andinet Asmamaw (or just Andy) works in Ben and Ton's lab earning his PhD. He is from Etheopia, and while his English is outstanding (last week he used the words "idiomatic" and "scintillating" in conversation), there are some idiomatic expressions in English that he hasn't quite grasped yet. This is a transcript of a conversation between Andy, Ben, and Yury (anther grad student) on 5/3/2002:

Yury: That girl I was hanging out with is from the inner city. Yesterday we passed one of her friends and she actually said "Yo, he's one o' my dogs." She actually said that in conversation!
Andy: What does that mean? He sleeps around a lot?
Ben: No, "dogs" is like "homies."
Andy: What's "homies?"
Ben: Friends. Your dogs are your friends.
Andy: I thought a dog was sleazy. Someone who sleeps around.
Ben: No, then he would be a dog, not my dog.
Andy: And are you sure it doens't mean he's a hard working person?
Ben: That would be workslike a dog! As in, Andy the grad student works like a dog, Yury is a dog (sorry yury), and Ton is my dog.
Andy: Can a girl be a dog?
Ben: Yes, but that would mean she was ugly. But if she was a female dog, a bitch, then she'd be a mean person.
Andy: Oh! But what if a guy is a bitch?
Ben: Then he's a little wuss.
Andy: Does this have anything to do with that expression "eats like a dog?"
Ben: That's eats like a pig. It means you eat a lot.
Andy: I thought that was eats like a pigeon?
Ben: No, that's eats like a bird, and it means you only eat a little.
Andy: Now I understand.

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